8 years after saving little sister, Georgia teen starts college on scholarship

FLOYD COUNTY, Ga. — A Georgia teen whose heroic actions nearly a decade ago saved her little sister's life started college this week on a full scholarship -- as promised.

In 2011, Anaiah Rucker was walking her little sister to their school bus in Madison when a truck headed right for them.

Rucker, then just 10 years old, pushed her sister to safety. She lost her own leg in the process and almost didn't survive.

After her heroic actions, Rucker ended up on the reality show "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" -- and she was gifted a full scholarship to Berry College.

This year, the college in Mount Berry, Georgia, fulfilled its promise.

Rucker moved into her new dorm room this week.

"I really never thought I would make it this far. There was a small chance of me surviving,"  Rucker told Channel 2 Action News as she stepped onto campus."I'm up for a challenge."


Three generations of women helped Anaiah get settled into her dorm room this week. Sending her daughter to college was a particularly emotional experience for her mom, Andrea Taylor.

"Just her leaving home, I want her to be successful, flourish and become a successful adult, but it's still that part of me, my baby, I just can't let go," Taylor said.

Dr. Steve Briggs, president of Berry College, said Anaiah is just the kind of student the college needs.

"The kind of generosity of spirit and selfless acts you want to see people do ... We wanted her to know we respect that and love that," Briggs said.

All these years later, Anaiah is still thinking about others. She wants everyone going through challenges to know that they will be OK too.

"Look at me! I graduated high school. I"m off to school. I'm walking again," Anaiah said.